August 21, 2012

Simple Pleasures

farmers' market haul 

On Saturday morning, Ray and I rode our bikes down to the farmers' market. When I say down, I mean it is an easy coast of a couple miles downhill all the way. Since we had to carry everything all the way back up the hills on our bicycles I tried to restrain myself but I was eager to bring home lots of produce for preserving. Ray carried the box of tomatoes on his rear rack and I loaded my panniers with a jar of honey, cucumbers, tomatillos, zucchini and beets. Luckily the raspberries fit right on top. Unless it is raining or snowing hard, traveling by bicycle is nearly always more fun and satisfying than going by car. On a perfect summer day even uphill on a heavily loaded bike is wonderful and I am always glad for the reminder that I should be biking more.

summer saturday


When I have the better part of a day to spend in the kitchen, I tend to do a lot of projects at once. I had a few vegetables to freeze, granola and hummus to make for the week, and I wanted to make something great for dinner. I come across so many intriguing and tempting recipes that I usually have ideas for meals well in advance but on Saturday I searched through most of my cookbooks and several websites without finding the perfect ways to cook corn, peaches, and raspberries. Luckily, summer the best time to keep it simple and enjoy the ripe fruits and vegetables without too much fuss, so we had corn on the cob.

peach raspberry cobbler 

With the fruit I was hoping for elegance and something special but ended up making a cobbler that took no more than 15 minutes to put together. While it was unfussy and easy to make, the sweet and tart flavors of the baked peaches and raspberries mingled into a gorgeous base for the sweet, light biscuit dough. It was just the right ending to a day of beautifully simple pleasures. 

Raspberry Peach Cobbler
Adapted from the Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates cookbook. You can easily substitute other summer berries or fruit here. 

Fruit Filling
4 large peaches
1 pint fresh raspberries
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons flour

Biscuit Topping
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup buttermilk (or 1/3 cup milk with 1/2 teaspoon vinegar)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 400' Peel and pit the peaches and thinly slice them. In a pie plate or a 9-inch square baking dish, combine the sliced peaches, raspberries, sugar, lemon juice and flour. Mix together until everything is evenly distributed.

In a bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and using your hands, a pastry blender, or knife cut the butter into the flour until it resembles a coarse meal with a few larger chunks. In a measuring cup, beat together the buttermilk, egg and vanilla. Pour this into the flour and butter and stir to create a soft dough. Spoon the dough onto the top of the fruit in evenly spaced spoonfuls. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Serve warm, especially with vanilla ice cream.

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